"Whilst there is a big dispute at the moment, I think there's also potential for resolution," UBS chairman Axel Weber says of the U.S.-China trade negotiations.World Economyread more
The Kingdom and oil and gas industry have been slow to shore up defenses, raising red flags about the possibility of longer term fall-out in the region.Technologyread more
Tensions between South Korea and Japan may ultimately disrupt the high-end tech sectors, says Heenam Choi, CEO at South Korea's sovereign wealth fund.Traderead more
On Sunday, the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will honor the best comedies, dramas, limited and variety series from the last year.Entertainmentread more
Removing Neumann is a difficult decision for Son, who has long believed in WeWork and Neumann's vision to quickly expand the company.Technologyread more
Datadog went public on Thursday and instantly hit a $10 billion valuation, becoming the fourth cloud software debut to reach that level this year.Technologyread more
There are challenges with Iran, North Korea, the Afghan Taliban, Israel and the Palestinians — not to mention a number of trade pacts.Politicsread more
Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Tony James says he's less optimistic now than before that the U.S.-China trade war could be resolved, but even a smaller deal could help...World Economyread more
In his new memoir, "The Ride of a Lifetime," Iger explains why he decided against the deal to buy Twitter.Technologyread more
In perhaps Buffett's first televised profile, he explained a method of investing that prioritizes bargains and makes use of an occasional baseball analogy.Marketsread more
Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg reinforces his recession forecast following the Federal Reserve's September meeting.Futures Nowread more
The semis (SMH) are surging, up 3.2% Wednesday and 25% year to date. Micron is leading the way -- it jumped 13% yesterday after beating quarterly estimates and forecasting a recovery in chip demand by the second half of the year. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.05 per share and revenue of $4.79 billion, well above analysts' estimates of 79 cents and $4.69 billion. Micron posted its best day since December 2016, despite being stuck in the middle of the U.S.-China trade dispute and the restrictions on Huawei, one of its big customers.
Citing the bottoming EPS and stabilized book value, Needham upgraded Micron to buy with a target price of $50. The ripple effect reached adjacent players such as Western Digital, which Craig-Hallum Capital upgraded to buy, specifically citing Micron's performance.
Yet despite the upswing, Micron remains 36% off its 52-week high. So the "Halftime Report" traders were more skeptical on Wednesday's show, wondering if the company's numbers and the U.S.-China landscape really support the optimism.
Steve Weiss of Short Hills Capital Partners shorted Micron stock on Wednesday morning "hoping people would come to their senses and say the quarter wasn't that good." Though that didn't happen and he covered his position at a loss, he remained bearish because of the details in the earnings report: "You've had an inventory build from 130 days to 150 days. That's not good. I also believe you've had some stuffing of the channel, not in a nefarious way, but by the buyers in China buying in advance" because of the trade uncertainty. Thus, "We don't know what real demand will be there and what additional inventories will be there."
Pete Najarian, co-founder of Investitute.com, did not short but was ready to sell his stock soon. "I'll probably be out [of Micron] by the end of the day," he said on Wednesday's "Halftime Report," "because this is a great move, and I think it's a nice violent move to the upside. But I'm not so sure that guidance [from Micron's earnings report] really has me enough excited right now to say, you know what, I see this [surge] persisting for a long period of time."
Jon Najarian, co-founder of Najarian Family Office, is also getting out. He sold his Micron calls, saying, "It was a lovely winner, God bless them, I'm taking the money and running." For the same reason, Najarian trimmed his calls in Western Digital. The stock has gone up $10 since June 13, when he previously discussed it on the "Halftime Report," but he said, "You can imagine the options moved a lot more."
For Virtus Investment Partners' Joe Terranova, the better play is trading the semis in general. He asked, "Do you go in and assume the risk in a Micron, on your belief that you get a favorable resolution on trade, or do you stick with just basically the overall SMH ETF? I think that's the better play. I don't think you want the risk assumption specifically in the Micron."
Even if a trade deal does emerge from the upcoming G-20 summit and the highly anticipated meeting between Trump and Xi, Kari Firestone of Aureus Asset Management warned, "If what we're saying is this group [the semis] moves because the market moves, there are many other places to go in the market without the risk of whether you really get the trade resolution that you need for the chips to really work."
Disclosure: Pete Najarian owns shares of Micron.